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Are Volcanoes friends or foes of human beings?

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Are Volcanoes friends or foes of human beings? The term 'Volcano' The word 'volcano' actually comes from an island called Vulcano off the coast of Sicily. During the Roman Empire, people believed that Vulcano was the home of Vulcan, blacksmith to the Gods. (Vulcan is known in Greek mythology as Hephaestus, the God of Fire.) The Romans thought that the lava and dust erupting from Vulcano was coming from Vulcan's forge when he sent up thunderbolts for Jupiter, king of the Gods, to throw. In Polynesia, people believed that volcanic eruptions were caused by Pele, the Goddess of Volcanoes. They happened when she got angry, which was quite often. Today we know that volcanic eruptions have a scientific explanation. Volcanoes are mountains and most are created by folding and crumbling of the earth. Volcanos are built up from their own explosions. Over time, this material builds up around the vent that connects the volcano to the molten rock in Earth's Outer Mantle. ...read more.


Once they have erupted again they are classified as active volcanoes. Extinct volcanoes are those which have not erupted for tho usands of years. It is hard to tell if a volcano is dormant or extinct. They have to be listed as dormant until it is certain that there will be no more eruptions. The picture on the right shows Mount Etna, an active volcano in Sicily, Italy Mauna Kea, 1971 The picture on the left shows Mauna Kea, a dormant volcano in Hawaii. Mount Kilimanjaro On the right is Mount Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, Africa Where are volcanoes found? Volcanoes are found at plate boundaries. It happens when plates clash together, pull away from each other or slide together. Most are on land and some are underwater. The Pacific ring of fire This Pacific Ring of Fire is an arc stretching from New Zealand along the eastern edge of Asia, north across the Aleutian Islands of Alaska, and south along the coast of North and South America. ...read more.


The Hawaiian Islands are made of rows of these volcanoes including Kilauea and Mauna Loa on the island of Hawaii - two of the world's most active volcanoes. The floor of the ocean is more than 15,000 feet deep at the bases of the islands. As Mauna Loa, the largest of the shield volcanoes (and also the world's largest active volcano), rises 13,677 feet above sea level, its top is over 28,000 feet above the deep ocean floor. Living near Volcanoes Many people live near volcanoes. This is a great risk to them as the volcano may easily erupt and kill them all. So why continue to live there? The answer is, volcanoes produce fertile soil, and provide valuable minerals, water reservoirs, geothermal resources, and scenic beauty. Also, most volcanoes are very infrequent - they erupt about once every thousands of years. Most people take the risk. They may have lived there for generations and just don't want to move, some may just like the excitement of it all! ...read more.

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